Chelsea are set to announce Sonia Bompastor as Emma Hayes’ successor after the Champions League final this weekend.

The Lyon boss has a big game ahead of her and will be hoping to bow out on a high in Bilbao as her team face Barcelona on Saturday night.

Chelsea have reportedly agreed to wait until after the match to announce the 43-year-old as their new manager in order to avoid any distractions from the French coach’s final game at the helm of Les Fenottes. 

But who exactly is the woman set to take over Chelsea?

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Playing career

Though it has been over a decade since she hung up her boots, Bompastor had an extensive playing career as a full-back and midfielder.

She made a total of 156 appearances for the French National Team, and captained Olympic Lyonnais to Champions League titles in 2011 and 2012.

She has since become the only woman ever to win the elite European competition as both a player and a manager.

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Though her roots lie deepest at Lyon, as a player Bompastor also had spells at La Roche VF (where she began her professional career) Montpellier, Washington Freedom, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite now being known for her managerial skills, Bompastor was an excellent player in her time and knew exactly what it took to perform on the big stages.

Managerial career so far

Following her retirement in 2013, Bompastor went on to manage Lyon’s academy for eight years until she made the move to the women’s senior team in 2021.

She was appointed her position as head coach of Les Fenottes after her predecessor Jean-Luc Vasseur was sacked when Lyon lost the title to PSG.

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This was the first time PSG had won the Division 1 Féminine, and Lyon, despite being long-standing giants of French football finished second best.

Bompastor was brought in as Vasseur’s replacement and has since re-established her club’s dominance.

During her time in charge Lyon have won the Champions League, three league titles, and one French Cup.

What she can bring to Chelsea

Sonia Bompastor’s appointment will be a significant move for Chelsea as they look to maintain their position at the pinnacle of women’s football.

Her track record at Lyon demonstrates her ability to manage top-tier talent, and she is known for her tactical brilliance, ability to develop young talent, and her emphasis on creating a cohesive team environment.

These are all qualities that will surely set the French coach in good stead for success within Chelsea’s already well-established framework.

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Her experience both as a player and a coach at the highest levels of the game provides her with a unique perspective, and her history of success in the Champions League aligns perfectly with Chelsea’s ambitions on the European stage.

Bompastor’s familiarity with winning and the mentality required to achieve it will be invaluable as the Blues continue to compete for domestic and European titles.

Featured image courtesy of Cerha Oliver via Wikimedia Commons. No changes were made to this image. License details found here

By Emilie Mwanza

Founder of Beyond The 90. Trainee multimedia journalist based in Preston.